Communist thought leader, Karl Marx had opined, “religion is the opium of the masses”.
Analyzing Islamic extremism and radicalism for the last several years, I decided to expand on that thought of Karl Marx. My view is – “Religion is the opium of the masses. When they get high on it, they behave like asses.”
The behavior of the Taliban in the past and now in the present, after the US and NATO troops, left Afghanistan is a reflection of the asses on display for a global audience.
Talibanism is just another garb of Islamic radicalization and extremism. The intent is no different from ISIS. The underlining principle of the Taliban is a radical and extremist form of governance and people control. It is better to rule with fear than with hope.
Yesterday, the Taliban had issued a statement ordering local religious leaders to give them a list of girls over 15 years of age and widows under 45. Media reports stated that the Taliban has promised for them to be married to their fighters and taken to Pakistan’s Waziristan, where they will be converted to Islam and reintegrated.
In the last couple of days, the Taliban has gained control of many key districts and border posts with Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It reportedly controls most of Afghanistan right now.
More than the men. It will be the women that will see the return of the dark days in Afghanistan under the Taliban
The life of women under the brutal Taliban regime in the 1990s was arguably worse than hell. Women were banned from going outside alone. Girls were barred from attending school. Unmarried women were forced to marry fighters. In 2021, it will get worse.
Men in the Taliban believe that are acting out in concurrence with their religious belief. Their Islamic beliefs are radical, extreme, and devoid of human rights towards women.
The Taliban forced women to cover themselves from head to toe, banned them from working outside the home, severely limited girls’ education, and required women to be accompanied by a male relative when they left their homes.
Oppression of women is not a crime to the Taliban but instead, it is considered to be their duty.
Such is the oppression of women that the Taliban has banned shops from selling goods to unaccompanied women. People who break the rules are often punished, including public beatings. This happened in the past and it will happen in the present and future too.
With the return of the Taliban, girls and women can forget about their dreams of an education. The Taliban do not see education as a necessity for a woman. Educating a woman is considered to be ‘Haram’. Education is only allowed up to the fourth grade for a girl child in Afghanistan under the Taliban rule.
According to the Taliban, the freedom gained by women promoted ‘indecency’ and ‘immoral’ behavior. So, while they have no objection to granting women their rights. They want to instill Islamic discipline, that girls can go to school and women to work only if they do not violate Islamic laws.
From 1996 to 2001, public executions, conservative traditional dress codes, and restrictions on the personal liberties of women were commonplace during the Taliban rule. The concept of human rights or women’s rights were alien to the Taliban then and even now I am afraid it will continue to be alien.
Reportedly, the Taliban have distributed leaflets, ordering locals to follow strict rules that are similar to those they imposed on Afghans when they last governed the country.
Last week the Taliban co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar told certain sections of global media that the Taliban believed in peace. He further asserted that the Taliban believes that the genuine Islamic system is the best means for the solution of all issues in Afghanistan. Baradar also assured that the rights of all Afghans including women will be accommodated in that system according to “the glorious religion of Islam” and Afghan traditions.
Only the Taliban and ISIS can define the meaning of ‘the genuine Islamic system’. Their idea of Islam is regressive and devoid of humanity.
To the people of Afghanistan especially girls and women it is a cruel twist of fate and faith when life was slowly returning to some normalcy, the Taliban returns to bring its oppression under its interpretation of Islam.